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May 8th, 2022, 11:37
Thanks @Ripper, I didn't read properly or focused on the last part too much.

I don't know how difficult the link between CMS and forum could be, and I suspect it depends a lot on the choice.

The way RPGWatch shows a main page with the news and the forum updates, together with an integration of the game/company database (also accessible from the forum part), really amplifies its value, I think.

That's what we have to evaluate. If that proves too difficult, a split like you suggest is a better solution than no news at all. Because wouldn't that lower the traffic dramatically? Or it's possible to post news in a forum-only solution, but it's a little sad.
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May 8th, 2022, 11:56
Yes, the layout of the Watch main page could remain mostly the same on the news site, but without the integration of the forum comments. Personally, I think the advantages would outweigh that disadvantage. The news site could have community links saying, "Discuss on forum x, or our Steam community, or the Discord, or on Twitter." I actually think that could drive engagement, and the traffic for the news site could increase, having a bit more of a life of its own. Some could join what would probably be the traditional forum continuation for we grognards, da kidz might go to the Discord, and so on.

With regard to getting news into a separate forum, all that's really needed is the automatic creation of news topics from the news feed. Even if you had, say, a hosted solution that wouldn't let you add that simple bit of extra code, it would be straightforward to create a bot, externally, that monitors the RSS feed, and posts new topics in the forum for each story.
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May 8th, 2022, 12:12
News sites already exists
Gamebanshee
Sorcerer's Place

both even have forums, but not really a community.
So I think this separation of news and forum doesn't really work.

The Codex post more newsbits in the forum itself than on the main-page. It works, but I still like the RPGWatch approach most.
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May 8th, 2022, 12:19
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
Would you consider being hosted by Sorcerer's Place? https://sorcerers.net/

RPGCodex is currently hosted by them, and so was it's sister site about strategy games (even when I was domain owner, before being absorbed into the Codex).
And a bunch of others: https://sorcerers.net/Hosting/hosted.php

It's free hosting, with the main "cost" being displaying advertising as stipulated by Sorcerer's Place.
https://sorcerers.net/Hosting/tos.php
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
I'm wondering, is the localization important for a host?
[. . .]
EDIT: Note that for the Sorcerer's Place, apart from the ad question or the fact it's free and so probably offering no guarantee of a good service, there's also their conditions and their ToS to deal with. Is this something we'd feel comfortable with?

TOS of Sorcerer's Place:
Sorcerer's Place agrees to furnish services to the hosted site owner(s) ("HSO"), subject to the following Terms of Service.
[. . .]
Prohibited Content
HSO may not post, upload, link to or e-mail any content that contains, promotes, gives instruction about, or provides prohibited content. HSO is responsible for any content that violates any local, state, county, national or international law or treaty. Prohibited content also includes content that infringes upon any rights, including, but not limited to, copyrights and trademarks, abusive, threatening, defamatory, racist, or obscene content, viruses or any other harmful computer software, spam, chain letters, or pyramid schemes, gambling or illicit drugs, terrorism, hacking or cheating for Internet or online games, warez, roms, CD-keys, cracks, passwords or serial numbers, pornography, invasion of privacy or impersonation of any person or entity.
[. . .]
Sorcerer's Place does not preview any content transmitted but reserves the right to check any hosted site for prohibited content. Sorcerer's Place has the right to access any hosted site and its related content and delete, edit, or restrict access to any content, with notice to the HSO.
So how come the Codex is not in trouble?

Where are the servers located?
And is he just turning a blind eye and think he'll get away with possible legal consequences by pointing to the HSO if they knock on his door? (Not with a TOS like that imo). Or is he just taking the chance no one will ever knock on his door? Small fish?

Edit
Not that it is any concern of mine, of course.
But it might be interesting to know what might happen to the Watch in the long run,
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Last edited by Eye; May 8th, 2022 at 13:04. Reason: Added imo and addendum
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May 8th, 2022, 12:21
Well, to add my 5 cents: I headed an RPG (NWN) community myself more than 15 years ago with a dedicated game server, a highly interactive PHP website (connected with the game via databases), forums etc.
The main headache had always been the server administration. It's a lot of work and a lot of responsibility.

Anyone who volunteered to do this, should really really make up their mind before and should exactly know what that means. It should only be done by someone with a lot of experience.

So unless we have an experienced server admin with enough free time here (haha), I think Sorcerer's place looks like the best shot right now. I wouldn't mind the ads.

Getting a forum up and running and something to create news will be doable by some technical skilled volunteers.

We imho still would need a single person heading it.
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May 8th, 2022, 12:29
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Anyone who volunteered to do this, should really really make up their mind before and should exactly know what that means. It should only be done by someone with a lot of experience.

So when we don't have an experienced server admin here, I think Sorcerer's place looks like the best shot right now. I wouldn't mind the ads.

Getting a forum up and running and something to create news will be doable by some technical skilled volunteers.
That's how I see it. Trying to recreate the Watch as it is, without the code-base that's on its last legs, I think is a really onerous undertaking. A news site and a forum could be sorted out pretty quickly, and the news site tinkered-with and added-to over time, with the features wanted.
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May 8th, 2022, 12:32
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Well, to add my 5 cents: I headed an RPG (NWN) community myself more than 15 years ago with a dedicated game server, a highly interactive PHP website (connected with the game via databases), forums etc.
The main headache had always been the server administration. It's a lot of work and a lot of responsibility.

Anyone who volunteered to do this, should really really make up their mind before and should exactly know what that means. It should only be done by someone with a lot of experience.

So unless we have an experienced server admin with enough free time here (haha), I think Sorcerer's place looks like the best shot right now. I wouldn't mind the ads.

Getting a forum up and running and something to create news will be doable by some technical skilled volunteers.

We imho still would need a single person heading it.
If you are talking about a siteowner, that comes with legal responsibilities and liabilities. Of course, anyone is free to dismiss those things as being insignificant for a site like this, compared to the bigger fish, but it is good to realise that it is not just taking up your average, ordinary voluntary job.
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May 8th, 2022, 13:26
If you guys decide to go for a SaaS option like Xenforo I would be happy to commit to a yearly contribution as I am sure a lot of other regulars would too.

I always prefer the SaaS type of solutions because they take care of all the busy work i.e. security (mostly), backups, patching, upgrades etc. The the admin just needs to take care of configuration etc. I think a good aim for day 1 would be having the forum in place and then maybe dropping in a news page in front of the forum once someone has time to build it. It looks like Xenforo (and phpBB) both have API's to grab threads etc so it should be possible to pull news postings or similar.

While it would be nice to copy all the existing content i.e. users/discussions etc personally I don't think it is the end of the world if it has to be a clean start.
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May 8th, 2022, 13:29
Originally Posted by Eye View Post
If you are talking about a siteowner, that comes with legal responsibilities and liabilities. Of course, anyone is free to dismiss those things as being insignificant for a site like this, compared to the bigger fish, but it is good to realise that it is not just taking up your average, ordinary voluntary job.
That's what I meant when saying we need someone to head it all.
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May 8th, 2022, 13:36
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
That's what I meant when saying we need someone to head it all.
That's also part of my attraction to the idea. The news site wouldn't have to worry about all that hassle - none of the concerns a forum brings. For me, that's something I might help out with, a way to keep in touch and keep things going, without dealing with any of the grief, or creating a huge workload. And the forums can set themselves up and moderate themselves how they wish, by the folks that are interested in doing that.
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May 8th, 2022, 13:52
Legally it doesn't work like that. The RPGWatch site owner is legally responsible for everything that happens on RPGWatch and that includes the forums. They aren't two different sites.
Also a large part of the forum interaction is related to the news postings that are syndicated to the forums. I would expect that no longer doing that would really reduce the interaction.
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May 8th, 2022, 13:57
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
Legally it doesn't work like that. The RPGWatch site owner is legally responsible for everything that happens on RPGWatch and that includes the forums. They aren't two different sites.
Also a large part of the forum interaction is related to the news postings that are syndicated to the forums. I would expect that no longer doing that would really reduce the interaction.
But what I'm saying, is that they could become two different sites - two different entities. In the same way that you are not responsible for what goes on in the Discord, or the Steam group.

I'm suggesting that the news site would also provide a news feed to the independent forums, Discord, etc - syndicating to them for discussion, but having no legal responsibility for what goes on there.
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May 8th, 2022, 15:15
Originally Posted by Eye View Post
So how come the Codex is not in trouble?

Where are the servers located?
And is he just turning a blind eye and think he'll get away with possible legal consequences by pointing to the HSO if they knock on his door? (Not with a TOS like that imo). Or is he just taking the chance no one will ever knock on his door? Small fish?

Edit
Not that it is any concern of mine, of course.
But it might be interesting to know what might happen to the Watch in the long run,
Despite that strangely detailed TOS that Sorcerer's Place has for their hosting (and there's no way the Codex complies with it), their server (and the Codex's) appears to be in the US, and so there shouldn't be much of a concern about any of those items except maybe the piracy stuff. Forum owners aren't responsible for content that users post on their forums, the posters themselves are. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
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May 8th, 2022, 16:43
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
The main headache had always been the server administration. It's a lot of work and a lot of responsibility.
Wouldn't it be better to have two or three people, to share the load but also to have a backup and to avoid missing something important? While I would have no problem sharing that with someone, doing it alone would probably be problematic, at least at the beginning. I suppose it wouldn't be a problem for someone doing that for a living though.

This load can be reduced with other host options than Sorcerer's Place too.

Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Despite that strangely detailed TOS that Sorcerer's Place has for their hosting (and there's no way the Codex complies with it), their server (and the Codex's) appears to be in the US, and so there shouldn't be much of a concern about any of those items except maybe the piracy stuff. Forum owners aren't responsible for content that users post on their forums, the posters themselves are. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
Interesting! That's why I was wondering about the localization earlier.
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May 8th, 2022, 17:00
I found an answer to my question regarding a realistic budget on the donation page.

I don't have any idea about the required bandwidth though? I assume the storage is not an issue.
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May 8th, 2022, 17:41
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Despite that strangely detailed TOS that Sorcerer's Place has for their hosting (and there's no way the Codex complies with it), their server (and the Codex's) appears to be in the US, and so there shouldn't be much of a concern about any of those items except maybe the piracy stuff. Forum owners aren't responsible for content that users post on their forums, the posters themselves are. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
That strangely detailed TOS might have something to do with Sorcerer's Place perhaps being a European business, registered somewhere in Europe, that has to abide by European laws? (despite using American servers).
If so, I doubt their TOS will help them, while at the same time allowing an American site to continue to violate their TOS - but I am definitely not an expert in this and I can not be bothered to find out.
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May 8th, 2022, 18:01
Originally Posted by Eye View Post
That strangely detailed TOS might have something to do with Sorcerer's Place perhaps being a European business, registered somewhere in
Europe, that has to abide by European laws? (despite using American servers).
If so, I doubt their TOS will help them, while at the same time allowing an American site to continue to violate their TOS - but I am definitely not an expert in this and I can not be bothered to find out.
Do you know which country matters, the hosting company, where the server physically is, or the site owner? If I'm correct, at the moment all of them are in the Netherlands for the RPGWatch so there's no ambiguity, but if that changes…
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May 8th, 2022, 18:20
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Do you know which country matters, the hosting company, where the server physically is, or the site owner? If I'm correct, at the moment all of them are in the Netherlands for the RPGWatch so there's no ambiguity, but if that changesā€¦
Nope I do not know.
And yes, at the moment everthing is based in Europe.
And yup, if that changes… Who knows, I dunno know what counts. The servers, the residence of the company (I guess it is different/less important for a private person), the size of the company (Was not there a recent European plan that the big ones, the really big companies, have to abide European laws if a large portion of their users are European?). . .

It could be just a TOS to be on the safe side, but my point was that IF they DO come after you (which is unlikely at present, but hey algorithmes may resolve the needed manpower in the future) having that TOS and doing nothing against a site like the Codex yourself won't help. (Notice that big IF.)

Anyway. Not very interesting to a person with the desire/willingness to be the new siteowner of RPGWatch.

If that person will be American, having a site on an American server, that may of course change moderation policy if the siteowner wants it, seeing the way the Codex is operating. Whether that might bring Sorcerer's Place into legal problems one day, is not sitowners problem. I guess.

If that person is European, having a site on an American server, hosted by an American/European company, I do not know what the rules are. And I do not know whether that siteowner should care. That is for the individual to decide.
I am not advising anyone here. I am no expert. Just thinking out loud.

And of course, if moderation policy keeps respecting European laws, none of this relevant.
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May 8th, 2022, 19:26
Originally Posted by Eye View Post
And yes, at the moment everthing is based in Europe.
Our server is in Germany, we are having a Dutch contract with it, and our siteowner is Dutch; Dutch, German and European laws apply.
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May 8th, 2022, 20:37
I guess the first question is - who wants to host the site ?
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